The uses of Eucalyptus are very vast and wide-ranging because there are so many species that have medicinal properties.
Traditionally, Eucalyptus species have been used for insect repellent, respiratory infections and mouth washes. The Australian Aborigines have used the leaves to disinfect wounds and treat infections for thousands of years.
But unfortunately with the broad uses and abundance of species comes some confusion and even exploitation of the consumer. This is similar to the problems often encountered with other popular essential oils such as cinnamon essential oil and the Melaleuca species. Therefore, it is up to us as consumers and oil users to have an understanding of the plant and the oil so we can use the oils safely and correctly.
With that said, my mission is always to do the best I can do in presenting the facts on this website so you can educate yourself on choosing essential oils. Then rest is up to you!
Why is There so Much Confusion about Eucalyptus?
With over 700 species of eucalyptus, as well as chemotypes, common names and different parts of the plant being marketed, it is no wonder that people are so confused! And on top of it, most companies are labeling the oil all under the genus of Eucalyptus. Now that is not only confusing, but misleading!
What is a Chemotype? Oh, no…..Chemistry Again?
A chemotype (CT) is a designation that tells you that the species has different chemical constituents. This usually occurs because the plant is grown in a different area under a distinct climate that alters the chemistry. The perfume varieties mostly contain citronellal, while the medicinal varieties contain what we want - 1, 8 cineole.
How do I Know what I am Getting?
Always purchase and use essential oils by their common name and genus species. And of course make sure they are therapeutic grade!
Why does Any of this Matter?
It matters because different species (and chemotypes) equals different results! So the uses of eucalyptus will be different.
And some species may not be suitable for medicinal use at all! So you need to match the genus species with the result you want before you go to purchase an essential oil to use!
What are the Different Species and What are the Uses of Eucalyptus Species?
As I said previously, there are over 700 species of eucalyptus; however, there are only a handful used for medicinal purposes. Wow!
The most popular Eucalyptus species used for medicinal purposes are presented below:
• Eucalyptus globulus – This oil is commonly known as Eucalyptus or Blue Gum Oil. It contains 60-75% 1, 8 cineol. This is the eucalyptus that provides the medicinal benefits we all love and is well known. It is originally from Australia, however it is also grows in Brazil, China, Corsica and Ecuador.
Its properties are: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticidal, mucolytic and expectorant.
The uses of eucalyptus globulus include: respiratory and sinus infections, viral infections (herpes), Candida, acne, bronchitis, rheumatism and arthritis, muscle aches and pains, diabetes, measles, migraines, ulcers, wounds, ear inflammation and iris inflammation.
E. globulus a fresh and earthy aroma that promotes healing and well being. Dilute 50:50. Can be used as a dietary supplement. Approved by the FDA as a Food Additive (FA) or Flavoring Agent (FL), however, not advised for children less than 6 years of age.
• Eucalyptus radiata – This oil is commonly known as Black Peppermint Oil. It contains 60-75% 1, 8 cineol and is native to Australia. You’ll notice that the constituent make up is similar to E. globulus, but you will notice a difference in the smell. Radiata is less intense and milder, making it sometimes chosen over E. globulus. Only two out of the six known chemotypes are harvested, CT 1, 8 cineol and CR peperitone.
Its properties are: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, and expectorant.
The uses of eucalyptus radiata include: respiratory infections and viral infections (herpes simplex when combined with bergamot), acne, bronchitis, ear (inflammation), and inflammation of mucous membrane and sinusitis.
Has a sweet and fruity aroma. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.
• Eucalyptus citriodora – This oil is commonly known as Lemon Eucalyptus Oil. It contains 40-80% citronellal and has several chemotypes. Although originally from Australia, the trees grow in Guatemala, Colombia, Egypt South Africa, India and China. The trees of Madagascar are high in phenols and the
Brazilian trees contain a high percentage of aldehydes. Has an ORAC value of 83,000 µTE/100g. This is the highest value of all the Eucalyptus species.
Its properties are: analgesic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiseptic, insecticidal and expectorant.
The uses of eucalyptus citriodora include: fungal infections (Candida, ringworm) respiratory infections and viral infections (herpes, shingles), insect repellent (cockroaches, silverfish) and clothes and air freshener (linen closet).
Its fresh and lemony aroma is uplifting. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement. Repeated usage can possibly result in contact sensitization.
My favorite professionally made blend that contains eucalyptus citriodora is RC blend.
• Eucalyptus dives – This oil is commonly known as Peppermint Eucalyptus Oil. It contains 35-50% piperitone and 23-30% phellandrene. It has three chemotypes that have different uses: CT cineole, CT piperitone has a minty fragrance and CT phellandrene is used for insecticide.
Its properties are: anti-bacterial, mucolytic and diuretic. The uses of eucalyptus dives include: infections of the throat, lung and sinuses, hypertension and supports the respiratory system.
Its fresh aroma is invigorating and will help clear the sinuses. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.
• Eucalyptus polybractea – This oil is commonly known as Blue Mallee Oil. This tree is grown in France, but native to Australia. It contains 85-95% 1, 8 cineol. The chemotype from the French Tree contains cryptone and smells similar to cumin.
Its properties are: anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, expectorant, mucolytic, anti-inflammatory, viral infections (herpes) and insecticidal. The uses of eucalyptus polybractea include: acne, cystitis and supports the respiratory system.
Its fresh and earthy aroma is uplifting. Dilute 50:50. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.
• Eucalyptus bicostata – This oil is commonly known as Eucalyptus Blue. The plant is grown in Ecuador (Eucalyptus Blue) and Australia (Southern Blue Gum). It contains the highest amount of alpha-pinene of any eucalyptus making it extremely beneficial for the respiratory system. It also contains eucalyptol (1, 8 cineol). Some botanists consider this a subspecies of E. globulus; however, this does not have global support at this time.
Its properties are: anti-infectious, insecticidal and anti-inflammatory. Supports the respiratory system and promote breathing. It is an antispasmodic making it great for relaxing muscles after a hard workout or exercise.
Its fresh aroma is very calming to the mind. Dilute 50:50. Use in humidifier. Can not be used as a dietary supplement.
• Eucalyptus staigeriana – This oil is commonly known as Lemon Ironbark (not to be confused with lemon myrtle). This oil contains a high amount of aldehydes (about 51%) making it extremely beneficial for the skin, respiratory system and, muscles and bones.
Its properties are: analgesic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory anti-vital and anti-fungal. It is a powerful antispasmodic and is sedative like.
The uses of eucalyptus staigeriana include: bronchitis, colds, infections, dermatitis, inflammation, stress and lowering hypertension. You will see it in skin care products.
Which do I choose?
I choose chemistry over confusion. I choose dependability over deception. And I have come to depend on quality over quantity or price! Read your labels and don't be taken by a snake oil salesman!
I hope that helps you sort out the confusion and uses of eucalyptus. And remember the information contained on this page is built on facts, not farce!
The next section is specifically for E. globulus and also has some bits and pieces on the other eucalyptus oils. It will tell you how to use your oil and what to use it for. It will also provide you with some fun tips, testimonials and oil trivia!
As I receive new tips and testimonials they will be added to the page, so check back often!
What is the Genus Species? Eucalyptus globulus
Where is the name derived from? Eucalyptus comes from a Latin word "obliquus" meaning "oblique"” referring to the base of the leaf where the two sides of the leaf blade are of unequal length.
Why is this information so important? Its not, it’s just a fun fact!
What Part of the Plant is Used? Leaves (all of the species written about on this page).
What is the ORAC Value? 2,400 µTE/100g. E. Citriodora has the highest ORAC value.
Why be bothered with this number? ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It tells you the antioxidant capacity of a food item. Antioxidants have shown to reduce the risk of age related conditions and cancer! This was developed by the USDA researchers. For instance: Spinach = 1,260; Clove = 1,078,700. Wow! The number for clove is NOT a typo!
Most Interesting Historical Reference?
Did you know that on Cook's 1777 expedition, David Nelson collected a species of eucalypt to bring back to the British Museum in London?
What are the Plant Properties? Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticidal, mucolytic and expectorant.
What are the Documented Benefits and Uses of Eucalyptus? respiratory and sinus infections, viral infections (herpes), Candida, acne, bronchitis, rheumatism and arthritis, muscle aches and pains, diabetes, measles, migraines, ulcers, wounds, ear inflammation and iris inflammation.
What is the Aromatic Affect on the Mind? Its fresh and earthy aroma promotes emotional and physical healing and well being.
What is the Spiritual Influence? The uses of eucalyptus include spiritual transformation as well! The species of eucalyptus brings relationships into the light. This includes the relationship to our self, to others, to our work, and the divine.
It will ask us to look at our patterns that hold us back. Or help us see the ones that come forward when we are around our family or if our buttons are being pushed! As we become aware of this, we are able to bring much needed change and harmony to our relationships.
What Chakra is Affected? Promotes opening of the solar plexus and heart chakras.
What is the corresponding Chakra Color? Green. E. bicostata is blue.
How do I use it?
Use diluted - 50:50 dilution (one part essential oil: four part of vegetable oil). Then,
Good oil for the First Aid Kit? No
Can this oil be used for Pets? Yes, our uses of eucalyptus include pets! But as always use caution and always dilute the oils. It is good for congestion (E. radiata) and fleas.
Around the horses I tend to use E. globulus for insect repellent and E. radiata for sore muscles and massage work. Again, I like to use the blends and often times I use Ortho Ease or Ortho Sport for me and the horses! They both have eucalyptus oils in them.
What are the Safety Precautions? First, only use therapeutic grade essential oils when wanting healing results! Because it is approved as a Food Additive (FA) by the FDA, food grade eucalyptus oil is readily available on the market. Please remember, these are not the same oils and are often adulterated (changed).
One of the reasons the uses of eucalyptus are vast is because it is generally regarded as safe (GRAS).
Although it may be used as a dietary supplement, it is advised not to use it in this manner for children under 6 years of age.
Do not use these oils with homeopathic remedies, as it will cancel out the effects.
Essential Oil Trivia?
Did you know that a 2% solution of eucalyptus oil will kill 70% of airborne staph bacteria? This was recorded by Jean Valnet, MD. As a matter of fact, Dr. Valnet ran out of antibiotics during World War II and found that essential oils were a great substitute! He figured out uses of eucalyptus cause he didn't have another choice!
Did you know that Eucalyptus trees have been planted in parts of North Africa to try to assist with the spread of malaria?
Want to Purchase Therapeutic Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil?
Go to the Oil Shop! Buy Eucalyptus Radiata Oil and other Eucalyptus Oils Here!
Tips and Testimonials from an Essential Oil User
Place a drop of E. Radiata around your eyes for inflammation of the iris. Combine with lavender, helichrysum or copaiba essential oils.
Do you have a personal story to share about this Essential Oil? Please share it here!
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